Crio’s Question: Sporting truisms

My old mate Rooster always chuckled when recalling an exasperated coach’s ¾ time “team talk”.

“I’ve got only one thing to say to youse blokes”, he barked at the Alexandra Reserves, “and that’s nuthin’”.

Its much more fun when coaches avoid the “one week at a time” drivel and offer something from the heart.

Last week, Tony Puls, Manager of EPL’s Stoke City, fronted the world’s cameras after Chelsea’s comprehensive 7-0 demolition.

“You know, we were very lucky to get NIL to be perfectly honest”.

From beyond the modern media mainstream, what truisms can you recall?


  1. Crio – Its 1/2 time, circa 1976. Montmorency playing Heidelberg in a second semi at Warringal Park. I’m playing for Montmorency. We’re behind, about 2 goals or so. The game is seething with fists and fights. Its fantastic. Twoomey is running around for Heidelberg and cutting us up through the middle. Our poor old coach is pacing up and down in the rooms saying:

    “youse a….youse a……youse a…..”

    My mate leans over and whispers,

    “Scintillating isn’t it?” At which point I nearly burst out laughing.

    Our coach finishes the 1/2 time speech with,

    “Youse a gotta get the ball and youse a gotta kick it !!”

    We did and we won.

  2. Tony Robb says

    While not coming from a coach I dont think the feelings at North after the Carey affair could have been better described than when Ron Joseph said he “felt as flat as a shitcarters hat”.

  3. Years ago I was running for a junior footy team and as the weather (and the game) deteriorated from bad to awful the coach sought relative warmth and comfort inside the old scoreboard. At ¾ time I shepherded the players in front of the old structure and the coach barked to them through an opening…I can’t recall the content, very likely it referred to “one percenters” and being prepared to make an effort; certainly something darkly ironic. But I wondered afterwards what passers by would have made of a bedraggled bunch looking forlornly up at the board – a true case of “scoreboard pressure”?

  4. I long for the day a pundit says “Foresight is a wonderful thing.”

  5. It’s not far away!

  6. my brother’s under 12 coach came out with the best footballing truism I’ve ever heard. He obviously got his thoughts confused but insisted that “If don’t win you will surely lose”.

  7. glennontour says

    I remember being at a nightclub one Friday night the week after an incident filled Essendon versus Carlton game in the early 90s. One of the Essendon players was at the club and was interviewed for some reason unknown to all who were there. He had been most contrite earlier in the week as he left the tribunal having copped 4 weeks for a quality elbow to the head of a Carlton player. To the gathered press outside the tribunal he had offered his apologies and sworn never to be a bad boy again. To the masses at the nightclub when asked what he was thinking just before lifting the elbow, he declared that the other player, ‘had a face that you just want to hit’.

    I admired the honesty and agreed with his assessment of the Carlton players head.

  8. johnharms says

    My Favourite post-match explanation in the early 1970s. Wales were beaten by Western Samoa in one of the great upsets of world rugby. Wales had a terrific team. ONe of the Welsh champs was interviewed after the game. A bewildered sports commentator went into a long-winded assertion of what happened, and how incredible (proper use of the word here) it was.

    To which the Welsh player said, “Yes, beaten by Western Samoa. Imagine if we were playing all of Samoa.”

    Tony T – you may be able to locate this???

    I think it was the famous doctor-full back J P R Williams.

    But memory is a tricky thing and I may have rolled all these imaginings into one.

  9. Gareth Davies perhaps??

  10. Peter Flynn says

    Pretty confident it was Gareth Davies.

  11. Or Gareth Andrews.

  12. Here it is, boyos:

    “We’ve lost seven of our last eight matches. Only team that we’ve beaten was Western Samoa. Good job we didn’t play the whole of Samoa.” – Gareth Davies (1989)

  13. johnharms says

    Yes, memory is a tricky thing.

  14. Pamela Sherpa says

    What classics. Love the first one Dips. You know what they say -If you wait long enough things become fashionable again. Here’s hoping a few more coaches go back to basics soon!

  15. We listened to Gary Ayers at 3/4 time on Saturday. Very basic. Perhaps simplistic. His hair was perfect and his sunnies pitch black, eliminating his main weapon…that glare. We walked away convinced that Port had no hope.

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